Performance with Marina Oprea





1. The embarrassment of not being in a good school.

2. The embarrassment of having bad grades.

3. The embarrassment of entering a bad high school.

4. The embarrassment of not having graduated high school.

5. The embarrassment of studying in a vocational school.

6. The embarrassment of studying evening classes.

7. The embarrassment of being in a private faculty ( In Romania private faculties have a bad reputation, because it is known that you don`t have to go to classes and you still get your Diploma. They are also known as diploma factories)

8. The embarrassment of paying for your Faculty ( In Romania, every public faculty has places for students that don`t pay and for students that pay. The best students get in a decreasing order the unpaid places, according to their marks at the baccalaureate exam, so the students that got bad marks have to pay for their studies, and that is viewed as a bad thing for their parents. Payed places at the public universities are not viewed as bad as the ones in the private ones, because they study together and have the same exams. But the embarrassment is towards their parents, that have to pay for school and also signalizes the fact that they were not good enough).

9. The shame of not having a faculty degree.


Beyond the difficulties of the baccalaureate examination and admissions in faculties, students have to cope with pressures from parents. The impressions left by Communism - when the rate of admission at Romanian universities was limited and hardly accessible to most of the population - are transmitted to younger generations way of relating to the work area. The need to obtain a higher education diploma exceeds any inclination or interest in a given field. Children are no longer trained for one specialization. Admission, which often relies only on the baccalaureate grade, makes access to higher education much easier and the exaggerated number of students don`t have a real correspondence on the job market. Running after the funded opportunities regardless of vocation and applying for multiple faculties, whatever the profile, becomes reasonable in this context.




As a follow up to the performance Blind Reading, Gabriela Mateescu and Marina Oprea were invited by Ioana Ciocan to be part of her curatorial project 25 years after. The presence is mandatory is a performance/installation about the flawed educational system in Romania, where high school graduates are encouraged to sign up to as many colleges and universities as possible to make sure they end up studying somewhere. The idea of a gap year is completely unacceptable in most Romanian homes.


The performance was realized in a dark room. The walls were filled with thousands of papers of graduation test results and messages were written with glow in the dark paint. These messages show the position of most parents when it comes to their children getting a college degree.

How much tutoring I put in you!

You need to have a university diploma!

I offered you all the conditions!


A sound installation told the viewers about the artist`s personal incursion in the educational system and every once in a while their names would be called out loud in a row call. Each of them answered by turning on flashlights and searching for their names in the endless lists.